<
>

Hashim Amla's impatience leaves Notts on top

play
Harry's Game for Yorkshire and Sussex (1:32)

Both Harry Brook and Harry Finch scored centuries for Yorkshire and Sussex respectively whilst Jeetan Patel took six wickets against Derbyshire (1:32)

Hampshire 70 for 3 trail Nottinghamshire 302 (Patel 73, Wessels 54, Edwards 4-84) by 232 runs
Scorecard

Impatience is a virtue in the modern world.

Where once we were content to wait for letters, for food, for success, it seems we now want everything yesterday. The next generation of aeroplanes will not have windows (except, you presume, at the front) as their absence will increase speeds by around 10%. There's no time to look around anymore.

This attitude appears to extend to cricket. Where once batsmen might be prepared to look around a bit, to allow the bowlers an hour or a session, to build an innings rather than attempt to get rich quick, it now seems the response to every challenge is to try to hit the ball harder and further. Lost early wickets? Counter-attack. Bowlers on top? Hit them off their length. Pitch proving tricky? Thump those runs before the wicket-taking ball claims you. Eat, drink and be merry, for next over one may skid on and take you on the pad.

Right around the country we are seeing low scores. It is true that conditions at this time of year are demanding for batsmen. But they're no more difficult than they were in the days of uncovered pitches. Or when the world's best bowlers - the likes of Imran Khan and Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshall and Richard Hadlee - were on the county circuit every week. It's just that some of cricket's old virtues, notably patience and application, have become less fashionable. It's not a coincidence that England's Test batsmen rarely make centuries. It is a reflection, in part, of the modern way of thinking.

Certainly it seemed that way at Trent Bridge. Even Hashim Amla, a man so patient it he once made England bowl to him through a summer (or so it felt in 2012, anyway), succumbed. Having seen off Nottinghamshire's excellent seam attack in typically masterful fashion, he gifted to a simple catch to mid-off after attempting to loft a delivery from Samit Patel over the top.

It was a surprising and pivotal moment. While Rilee Rossouw had fallen pushing hard at a good one on off stump that may have left him a fraction, Amla had let the ball come to him and been content to nudge and deflect his way to a typically unfussy half-century. With Liam Dawson having already flicked to square leg, Hampshire needed Amla to take root. And, once he had gone, Kyle Abbott departed in similar fashion - he chipped to midwicket - Chris Wood played across a straight one and Hampshire conceded a first-innings lead of 79.

To be fair to Amla, there was some logic in his approach. With runs proving hard to come by against the seamers (Luke Fletcher conceded under two an over; Stuart Broad only a little over) and Patel having settled into a frugal spell (he barely conceded one an over in his first 10), Amla hoped to disrupt the spinner's rhythm and perhaps force mid-off back to the boundary and open up an opportunity for easier singles. It would be unfair to praise the intent when it works and criticise it when it fails.

Equally, it is unfair on Nottinghamshire to underplay their role in Amla's dismissal. To test the patience of a man renown for the quality underlines the quality and control of their bowling. By providing so few release deliveries, they applied pressure on Hampshire's batting and by trusting Patel, a modest spinner of the ball but an increasingly patient, disciplined bowler, they dangled the bait.

But there is another way. Or at least there used to be another way. And, for all the entertainment value offered by modern cricket - and the game has surely never moved so fast - it does appear that batsmen are losing the mentality where they are prepared to graft. Where they are prepared to concentrate on nothing but survival. Where they are prepared to dare to be dull. And, while red ball cricket is played, there will still be a place for such virtues.

Lewis McManus ensured the deficit was at least reduced for Hampshire. Shrugging off two blows to the helmet - both inflicted during a spell of impressively sustained short bowling by Broad - McManus recorded a plucky half-century.

Stuart Mullaney and Jake Libby consolidated Nottinghamshire's advantage in the final session. Already the pair have recorded their side's only century partnership of the season so far; already Mullaney has the highest individual score. Mullaney, in particular, elected for a positive approach, but Hampshire might reflect they made life a bit too easy by failing to match the discipline and control of their Nottinghamshire counterparts.

It was a particularly important innings for Libby. A tricky start to the season has left him under just a little bit of pressure, but he took advantage of easing conditions and a few loose deliveries to record his first half-century of the campaign. And, while the pitch is slow, there is still enough nibble and enough uneven bounce to suggest Hampshire are likely to face a desperately tough proposition in the fourth innings. How they respond to such a challenge may prove intriguing.